2004-2005 Jeep Liberty SUVs probed for rust issues

Consumer Reports News: September 19, 2011 03:08 PM

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Investigators with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said they were looking deeper into 200,000 Jeep Liberty sport utility vehicles made by Chrysler. The vehicles may have issues with rust that could cause loss of control of the vehicle, say the federal regulators.

The current probe, which focuses on 2004 and 2005 model year Liberty SUVs stems from an earlier more expansive investigation of rust issues with Chrysler-made Jeeps.

According to NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigations, there have been 22 complaints from Jeep Liberty owners alleging failure of the SUV's lower control arms due to excessive corrosion. Of those complaints, three reported loss of control of the SUV.

Chrysler said there have been no reported injuries or fatalities tied to the possible rust problems with its Liberty's suspension system. However, the company is working with ODI engineers to determine the scope and severity of the issue, which at this time seems to affect only Liberty SUVs sold in so-called "salt-belt" states: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

Defect Investigation: 2004-2005 Jeep Liberty - Suspension NHTSA Action #: EA11013 [NHTSA]
Office of Defects Investigation: 2004-2005 Jeep Liberty (PDF) [NHTSA]
NHTSA intensifies probe into 200K Jeep Liberty SUVs [Detroit News]

Paul Eng

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